Publication - Statistics

Homicide in Scotland 2019-2020: statistics

Published: 27 Oct 2020

Statistical bulletin on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2019-2020.

25 page PDF

1.3 MB

25 page PDF

1.3 MB

Contents
Homicide in Scotland 2019-2020: statistics
Key Points

25 page PDF

1.3 MB

Key Points

This bulletin presents statistics on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2019-20. Statistics are presented on the number of homicide cases recorded in Scotland, where a single case of homicide is counted for each crime involving Murder or Culpable homicide (common law), irrespective of the number of victims or accused. This bulletin also presents victim and accused data, the circumstances associated with the homicide, and additional details relating to the method, motive and relationship between the victim and the accused.

  • Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, the number of homicide cases recorded by the police in Scotland increased by 3% (or two cases) from 62 to 64 (Table 1). This remains one of the lowest number of recorded homicide cases for a single twelve month period since 1976.
  • The number of homicide cases in Scotland has remained relatively stable
    in recent years, with between 59 and 64 cases recorded each year since 2012-13.
  • Over the ten year period from 2010-11 to 2019-20, the number of homicide cases in Scotland fell by 35% (34 cases) from 98 to 64 (Table 1). Glasgow City accounted for over two-fifths (41%) of this decrease in that period. In 2019-20, just under a fifth (12) of the 64 national recorded homicide cases occurred within Glasgow City (Table 2).
  • In 2019-20, 64 victims of homicide were recorded, 2% (one victim) more than the 63 victims recorded in 2018-19 (Table 1). Of the 64 victims, 70% (45) were male (Table 5).
  • In 2019-20, 76 persons were accused of homicide and 92% (70) of them were male (Table 6). Of the 64 cases of homicide recorded for 2019-20,
    63 were solved and one is currently unsolved (Table 1).
  • For each of the last ten years, the most common method of killing was with a sharp instrument (Table 7). In 2019-20, a sharp instrument was the main method of killing for 55% (35) of homicide victims.
An infographic summarising the Homicide in Scotland 2019-20 bulletin.

The number of homicide cases in Scotland has fallen by more than a third in the past ten years. A line graph shows that since 2012-13, the number of homicide cases has remained relatively stable, with between 59 and 64 cases each year.

 

In 2019-20, 55% of victims were killed using a sharp instrument, 91% of which involved a knife. 22% of victims were killed by kitting and kicking. Homicide by shooting is relatively rare in Scotland. In 2019-20, 2% of victims were killed by shooting.

 

In 2019-20, 66% of homicides occurred in a residential location. 33% occurred in a public space, and 2% occurred in a prison.

 

In the last ten years, there has been a 36% fall in the number of homicide victims and a 46% fall in the number accused of homicide. The rate of homicide victims per million population has also fallen from 19 in 2010-11 to 12 in 2019-20.

 

In 2019-20, there were 64 victims of homicide. The median age of victims was 44. This can be broken down into: 3 aged under 21; 12 aged 21 to 30; 28 aged 31 to 50; and 21 aged 51 and over.

 

45 of the 64 victims of homicide in 2019-20 were men and 19 were women. For male victims, the relationship between the victim and accused was known in all bar one case. Where known, most male victims were killed by an acquaintance (43%). Most female victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner (37%).

 

In 2019-20, there were 76 individuals accused of homicide. 70 of these accused were male, 6 were female. The median age of accused was 33. This can be broken down into: 9 aged under 21; 19 aged 21 to 30; 38 aged 31 to 50; and 10 aged 51 and over.

Contact

Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot